Participants at Turning Commitment into Action session
Participants at Turning Commitment into Action session

Turning Commitment into Action

The Office of Arts & Culture in conjunction with the Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) is offering arts and cultural organizations the tools they need to turn their commitments to building racial equity — both within their organizations and through their work in and with community — into actions for tangible change. Part of the Community Institute for Racial Equity, this will include intensive training on skills to address perceived and actual barriers to racial equity within arts and cultural organizations and the sector as a whole.

Diana Falchuk
Manager of Arts & Racial Equity 
Diana Falchuk
Turning Commitment into Action
Racial Equity Cohort for Arts & Culture Organizations
Cohort #3 — 2015

Registration closes: August 11 at 5 p.m. PST

The cohort includes these required sessions:

  • Two half-day training sessions with four hours of work in-between, the bulk of which will be done with the other people from your group: Monday, September 28, 5 - 9 p.m.; Wednesday, September 30, 5 - 9 p.m.
  • A follow-up session to develop your racial equity plans, explore tools and learn from peers' successes and challenges: Saturday, October 17, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • A final session to assess progress and plan adjustments to strategies and tactics: Wednesday, November 18, 5 - 9 p.m.
  • Additional sessions, optional and strongly recommended, may be added to maximize learning and support.

Training capacity: Up to 12 organizations will be able to participate.

Locations within Seattle, TBD

Please carefully read the registration requirements, below. Each person should complete their own registration. On the registration, you will be asked to name the one or two other people from your group who are participating.

For questions about this training and registration, please contact:
Diana Falchuk,

Training Description

The Office of Arts & Culture is thrilled to partner with the Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) to ensure that the arts and cultural sector is a prominent part of the broader regional effort to build racial equity. This learning cohort, which begins with a two-part training, is designed to give groups the tools they need to turn their commitments to building racial equity — both within their organizations and through their work in and with community — into actions for tangible change. Turning Commitment into Action is part of the Community Institute for Racial Equity.

Participants will build their analysis and use a racial equity assessment to identify personal and organizational power, and targeted strategies to achieve racial equity. They will then develop a plan to create racial equity within their groups and through their work with artists, audiences, partners and communities.

  • Examine how race is socially constructed.
  • Understand the manifestations and impacts of institutional and structural racism in our communities and specifically within the arts and cultural sector.
  • Understand our own and others' social identities and social positions, and why we're approaching equity through the lens of race.
  • Explore how we can create the change needed to build racial equity. What does it mean to be a change advocate? What does it take for groups/institutions to change and/or to sustain racial equity as our core work?
  • Identify perceived and real barriers to racial equity in arts and cultural organizations and the sector as a whole.
  • Articulate a clear, compelling story for your group's evolution that you can share with stakeholders, including co-workers and others connected with your group.
  • Use an assessment tool to understand the steps your group must take to address race-based disparities and build racial equity.
  • Hear from local leaders who have led and participated in racial equity change processes: What worked? What didn't? What were the most important lessons learned?
  • Incorporate what you've learned to outline your plan to build racial equity.
  • Receive feedback and peer support on plan implementation — successes and failures forward.
  • Learn about tools and other resources for ongoing support.
Registration requirements

Groups must meet all of the following registration requirements. Those who do not will be screened out. Each person in the group must complete their own registration.

  1. The executive director or person with that level of authority must sign the Organizational Commitment Form. This states that the organization, with support from senior leadership, will develop, implement and track progress on the racial equity plan created through this learning cohort.
  2. Each group with 10 or more paid, FT staff must send three people who are able to participate in the entire cohort, work together for up to four hours in-between the first two training sessions and for additional time throughout. These people will need to be able to support each other's work as agents who create and sustain change within the organization. These people must include:
    • At least one organizational decision-maker in a leadership position who is able to authorize implementation of planned changes and hold accountable all levels of the organization. (We highly recommend an executive director, deputy director or board president.)
    • Two others (or one other, if you have under 10 FT, paid staff) who are situated in different areas of your organization with access to complementary resources and levers to make/sustain change and/or support historical commitments to racial equity. (Participants should not be from the same division or area of the organization [e.g. all from the executive's office, board or a particular department]. This is particularly relevant for larger organizations.)
    In addition, these people must be able to meet together for a total of four hours (not necessarily consecutive) between the first and second training sessions. (We highly recommend scheduling this time in advance of the first training.)
  3. Participants do not need to have any previous training on race and racism; those who do are encouraged to attend and share their experiences and knowledge with the group.
  4. Participants must be able to dedicate time during and after the training to develop and/or expand and implement a plan to build racial equity within their group and in their group's work with community.
  5. The organization, with backing from organizational leadership as stated in the Organizational Commitment form, must be able to dedicate staff resources toward the implementation of the racial equity plan over time. For organizations who are not already centered on racial equity in all areas of their work: While the long-term goal is to embed racial equity throughout the organization's structures, programs, and policies, etc. there will be an intentional and dedicated outlay of staff time (and possibly other resources) in order to support this organizational shift.
Pre-registration Checklist
  1. Read all registration requirements carefully.
  2. Share the cohort description and registration requirements with your executive director, senior leadership, and other group leaders. Make sure the executive director or person with that level of authority signs the Organizational Commitment Form. (For groups with a horizontal leadership structure, please designate someone to sign the form on behalf of the group.)
  3. Select and confirm which individuals from your group will participate before completing the registration form. Make sure each person is able to attend all hours of each of the first two training dates and the follow-up session six weeks later. If someone is not able to attend, we ask that you select another person who can attend all sessions, or wait to participate in a future cohort.
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